I try to make any relationship, whether business or personal, less transactional and more about developing a connection between people. It’s something that has helped me navigate my career and really get to know the people I work with every day. Given my focus on helping people use technology to make their lives easier, I always try to first figure out what problem they are trying to solve.
So, to explore what financial advisor’s high-net-worth clients are worried about and how to best address these concerns, I spoke with Andy Schwartz, CFP®, a Principal at Bleakley Financial Group. For more than 30 years Bleakley clients have relied on Andy for financial advice and access to the best products, so I sat down with him to get to know the concerns of his high net worth clients and how he addresses them – ultimately building more valuable relationships.
Abby Schneiderman: What keeps your high-net-worth clients up at night?
Andy Schwartz: Whether a client is on the middle or high-net-worth spectrum, fundamentally everyone has two major concerns: 1. Am I going to make it to retirement? and 2. What are my financial blind spots? Blind spots are their main concern, but then they also have worries about tax efficiencies and not giving away too much money to the government.
Abby: Can you further elaborate on these estate planning concerns and the biggest challenges?
Andy: Well, we are having a lot of discussions with our high-net-worth clients not only on future planning for themselves, but also for their children. Estate planning is not just about handling the taxes, but you also need to educate the next generation so they can be good stewards of capital. That might include helping them understand what impact their investments will have on society, planning for their own children’s future, and how to make good, lifelong decisions.
Abby: Why else are these individuals so worried about their children and what advice are they seeking?
Andy: Because this is the financial foundation they spent their entire lives building. They are worried if their kids are going to be responsible, financially responsible, and smart decision makers with the capital they worked their whole lives to build. My high net worth clients are looking for some intervention, education and stewardship for their kids. They want their children to understand the existing investments to make good investment decisions in the future.